3 Yummy Summer Appetizers

 July 11, 2016
Posted by jenn

Appetizers are always a great treat in the summer. Check out these light and simple recipes.

EVERY HERB PESTO

Seven fresh herbs give this pesto ample flavor while ground Marcona almonds add subtle crunch. You’ll want to put this every herb pesto on everything.

Every Herb Pesto

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Marcona almonds, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/8 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/16 cup fresh chervil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Garlic-rubbed crostini, optional
  • Heirloom tomatoes, chopped, optional

Blend the almonds and garlic in a food processor until fine. Add the spinach, cheese, herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice to the food processor. Blend the herbs just enough so they are mixed, about 3 seconds. Add the canola oil and olive oil while the food processor is on a low setting. Season with salt and pepper. Blend to desired consistency. Transfer the pesto to a serving bowl. Place the chopped tomatoes on top of the crostini if using and top with pesto. Any leftover pesto should be placed in a bowl and covered with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap right on top of the pesto and refrigerate.

 

SWEET PEPPER POPPERS

Sweet miniature peppers make colorful vessels for a rich mixture of ricotta and goat cheese. Topped with panko crumbs and baked until crispy, these poppers are easy-to-make crowd-pleasers.

Sweet Pepper Poppers

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 sweet mini multi-colored peppers (about 8 ounces)
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, keeping the stem intact. Remove the ribs and seeds and discard, hollowing out each of the peppers. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and place in an 8- by 8-inch baking dish.

Whip the goat cheese and ricotta together until light and airy in a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, about 2 minutes. Stir in the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Fill each pepper halfway with 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture and level off with a small offset spatula.

Place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Pour the butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Sprinkle each pepper with the buttered breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

SCALLOP CRUDO

Impress your party guests with this creative crudo. Not only does the pink Himalayan salt block make for a stunning presentation, but it also infuses the raw scallops and shaved zucchini with a ton of flavor.

Scallop Crudo

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup julienned yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup julienned zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes or baby heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • Good quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • White balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 large dry-packed sea scallops
  • 1 Himalayan salt block
  • 1 zucchini, ends removed, cut lengthwise into four 1/8- to 1/4-inch planks
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 12 fresh baby basil leaves from the top of the bunch (or 3 to 5 basil leaves, torn)

DIRECTIONS

In a small mixing bowl, add the yellow squash, julienned zucchini and grape tomatoes. Splash with some olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes.With your sharpest knife, slice the scallops equatorially into 1/4-inch, or thinner, rounds.

Prep your salt block by coating it with a little olive oil. Lay the planks of zucchini across the block; these will block the absorption of too much salt into the scallops.

Arrange the scallop slices, slightly overlapping each other, in four rows, with half of each round sitting on top of the zucchini and the other half directly on the salt block. Add a squeeze of lemon juiceand drizzle a few drops of olive oil on each row of scallops.

Top the scallops with some of the vegetable salad and the basil leaves. Serve.

Notes

Consumption of raw or under cooked shellfish may substantially increase the risk of food borne illness.

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